Stage preview

'Mamma Mia' keeps ABBA music playing


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If ABBA's music has been stuck in your head since the 1970s, it may be because it never went away. The Swedish band's catchy tunes that soared up the pop charts continue to be claimed by new generations who can't help but move to "Dancing Queen."

'Mamma Mia!'
Where: PNC Broadway Across America — Pittsburgh at Heinz Hall, Downtown.
When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday; and 1 and 6:30 p.m. next Sunday.
Tickets: $23-$68; trustarts.org or 412-392-4900.

Then, of course, there's "Mamma Mia!"

Not just the song that charted worldwide in 1975, but also the musical that has been on Broadway since 2001 and became a movie starring Meryl Streep. The touring company also continues to flourish and is a particular favorite of Pittsburgh audiences.

The national company that arrives Tuesday at Heinz Hall is the sixth "Mamma Mia!" tour to come through these parts since 2002 at the venue, where it played in 2004, '06 and '11, plus 2008 at the Benedum Center.

In an age of DNA testing, the story is as dated as the TV show "My Two Dads": Free spirit Donna (Australian Georgia Kate Haege) has slept with three men who could be father to daughter Sophie (Chelsea Williams), but she doesn't know for sure which one is dad. Trying to answer that question, Sophie invites the trio to her wedding on the remote sun-drenched Greek island where she and mom have led an idyllic life.

By the end, yards and yards of neon spandex are deployed and familiar songs by ABBA band members Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus -- "Take a Chance on Me," "The Winner Takes It All," "Voulez-Vous" among them -- are sung, and a good time is had by all.

The colorful songfest that is "Mamma Mia!" arrives right on time in its ongoing Pittsburgh mission, as an antidote for this cold and dreary winter.


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